Angels are personal spirit beings created to worship and serve God. We don’t know when angels were created in relation to the events of Genesis 1—2, but Scripture indicates that angels were present when God created the earth (Job 38:4–7).
Angels are mysterious to us, and they are powerful beings, but they are created as all things are. On this Scripture is clear. Psalm 148 lists various created things, and everything, including angels, is commanded to praise the Lord: “Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts. . . . Let them praise the name of the Lord, for at his command they were created” (verses 2 and 5). Angels are part of the “invisible” things and “powers” created by God and mentioned by Paul: “In [the Son] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things” (Colossians 1:16–17).
We know that mankind came from the earth. God scooped up mud and formed Adam’s body, then breathed life into it, and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). We are not told what “substance,” if any, God used to create angels or what the process looked like. Since He merely spoke the entire universe into being (Genesis 1), it could be that He also spoke the angels into existence. We could say that angels came from the mind of God and showcase another aspect of His creative brilliance.
A popular notion is that people become angels when they die—at least, the “good” people do. The 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life advances this concept through the fictional character Clarence Odbody, who was a clockmaker when he was alive (293 years previously) but is now an angel trying to earn his wings through good works. There is no biblical basis for the theory that angels are former people. In fact, the Bible clearly indicates that angels are different from us; mankind is a class of being created “a little lower than the angels” (Psalm 8:5). Even in heaven, the difference between mankind and “angelkind” is preserved (Revelation 7:9–11).